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Activity descriptions for teaching geoscientific thinking

These activity descriptions were submitted by faculty in preparation for the Teaching the Methods of Geoscience workshop in June 2012. In some cases, participants submitted a supplement calling out the ways in which the activities explicitly addressed teaching geoscientific thinking for a course they had previously submitted.

If you would like to add to this collection by contributing an activity, please fill out the Activity Submission Form or the Activity Supplement Form if you wish to supplement an activity you have previously submitted.


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The Use of Cube Puzzle and Toilet Paper Roll Model in Teaching The Nature of Science
Joel Aquino, Gainesville State College
This is a hands-on activity in scientific method that uses inexpensive materials such as carton boxes, toilet paper roll tube, strings and toothpicks. It engages the students to conduct pattern observation, prediction, testing and ends up with a model construction. It also encourages thinking outside the box, group discussion and creation of individual cube puzzles.

My Geologic Address: Locating Oneself in Geologic Time and Process
Kip Ault, Lewis and Clark College
Students locate their homes on local, regional, and global scale geologic maps. They build up an "address" describing their location in geological terms based on the features of the maps, from local bedrock to regional and global tectonic features.

Discovering the Principles of Relative Age Determination – a Think-Pair-Share In-Class Activity
James Ebert, SUNY College at Oneonta
In this in-class activity, students are challenged to identify rock units and geologic features and determine the relative ages of these features without prior instruction in the classical methods of relative age determination.

Learning how to constuct a graph of a decaying isotope and using it in radiometric dating
Ntungwa Maasha, College of Coastal Georgia
Students learn how to construct and use the natural decay curve for use it in a laboratory exercise on the use of radioactivity in absolute dating.

Introduction to the methods of geoscience
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
In this activity, students are introduced to the methods of inquiry in the Earth sciences and how they differ from what is classically taught in school science.

Density, Isostasy, and Topography
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
Anne Egger, Central Washington University.This page is a supplement to the original activity description found hereShort description of the activity: In this activity, students develop an explanation for the ...

Exploring Earth Systems Science: The Interactive GLOBE Earth System Poster
Amy Ellwein, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Analyzing your Hometown Stream using On-line USGS NWIS Data
Laurel Goodell, Department of Geosciences, Princeton UniversityThis page is a supplement to the original activity description found hereShort description of the activity:Students chose a stream of personal ...

Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods
Laurel Goodell, Princeton University
Laurel Goodell, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University.This page is a supplement to the original activity description found hereShort description of the activity:Students come to this activity familiar ...

The Cube Exercise and the Methods of Science
Barbara Bekken, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ
A new approach to using an exercise from the National Academy of Science publication "Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science" to support students in developing a deeper understanding of descriptive methods, experimental methods, and methodological assumptions.

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